Alliance for Democracy

A New Deal — or It’s No Deal — on the TPP‏

Posted in TPP, Trade Act of 2009, Trans Pacific Partnership, Uncategorized by Alliance for Democracy Portland OR on May 20, 2010

Our friends at the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign have issued a new newsletter and it follows, including news on the TransPacific Partnership and hopes that as the first trade agreement negotiated by the Obama administration, it will not built on the failed anti-worker, anti-environmental, and anti-democratic agreements of the past but will instead embody the new values of the TRADE ACT OF 2010 and the vision which Obama expressed while he was campaigning for the presidency.

This agreement can be extremely important also because most of the nations with which it is being negotiated are already parties to existing “free trade” agreements. If this new Partnership contains provisions opposed to the provisions of the existing agreements, those old agreements will either need to be abandoned completely or sufficiently changed.  With regards to trade, this could be the start of a whole new world. Please write your representatives and senator asking them to support a new approach to trade.

David e. Delk, Alliance for Democracy – Portland Chapter, 503.232.5495

ORFTC Fair Trade Monitor
Monthly fair trade update from the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign
May 2010

In This Issue:
1.) We Need a New Deal in the TPP Negotiations
2.) Sen. Merkley Fighting to Protect Financial Regulations
3.) Rep. Schrader Hears from Constituents in Oregon City
4.) CAFTA’s Golden Swindle
5.) Save the Date: Food Security, Forced Migration  “Free Trade”

In the News:
Portland’s Middle Isn’t Holding
Statement on the “Merkley Amendment”
Obama Committed to Passing Free Trade Deals
Join ORFTC on Facebook!

1.) We Need a New Deal in the TPP Negotiations
President ObamaORFTC needs your help to shape the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on June 14th in San Francisco, California. 
During his campaign, President Barack Obama oultined a bold vision for trade reform.  He committed to create a new model for American trade agreements that would put working people, the environment, family farms and consumers first.
We need your help to realize this vision, and to bring about the Obama promise on trade reform. 
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations involve seven Asian and Latin American countries, providing a long-overdue opportunity for us to address the trade failures of the past, and to lay out a new framework for the future.
But we cannot be too optimistic.  TPP negotations present both possibilities and peril.
If corporate forces prevail, any future TPP will include the worst copy-cat provisions cloned from NAFTA and CAFTA, mirroring much of the proposed Bush FTAs with Panama, Colombia and South Korea.  These attempts represent an ending point for the last administration, and shouldn’t be a starting point for the new one.
We want to help the President craft a trade agreement that can last, rather than fight against one that looks like the past.  That’s where you come in.  We need to make clear that we need a new deal, or there’s no deal, when it comes to the TPP.
TAKE ACTION: Please write to your elected representatives, and urge them to support the President’s trade reform commitments.  Ask them to demand a TPP that ditches the NAFTA model and crafts a new agenda that works for all of us.  Remind them to use the TRADE Act as a roadmap for TPP talks, so we can do it right this time.
2.) Sen. Merkley Fighting to Protect Financial Regulations

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Hidden in the Senate’s 1,400-page financial reform bill is a trade-related measured that enables international agreements to mandate further financial deregulation.  As written, the “Restoring American Financial Stability Act” (S.3217) would grant a newly-created Office of National Insurance with the power to enter into international insurance agreements without Congressional approval, and then determine which state insurance regulations should be preempted by these and other agreements. 

Never before has Congress granted a federal agency the right to unilaterally set U.S. trade policy.  This would have a profound effect on state sovereignty and, quite likely, on the financial stability of the nation. 

While almost 600 banks were bailed out by the federal government in recent years, only three insurance companies had to be rescued.  (Insurance giant AIG did receive a massive bailout, but its collapse was the result of its risky derivatives trading, not its state-regulated insurance programs.)  The last thing the country needs is for the meltdown that hit the big banks to spread into state-regulated insurance operations. 

Fortunately, freshman Senator Jeff Merkley has crafted an amendment to fix some of the egregious deregulatory provisions in S.3217.   Unfortunately, Senator Merkley’s amendment has already come under attack from the powerful insurance lobby.  Whether true financial reform will be enacted remains in question – but Senator Merkley’s commitment to protecting consumers and the economy is not. 
TAKE ACTION: Please take a minute to call Senator Merkley at (202) 224-3753 and leave a message thanking him for his leadership on the “ONI amendment.”
EVENT:  Visit the ORFTC table at the “Move Your Money” Celebration on Saturday, May 22 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square to learn more about how pacts like the WTO’s “Financial Services Agreement” contributed to the financial crisis – and how the TRADE Act would help prevent trade-mandated banking and insurance deregulation in the future. 

3.) Rep. Schrader Hears from Constiuents in Oregon City
Stan WhiteMore than three dozen people participated in a “Rally for Oregon Jobs” outside freshman Congressman Kurt Schrader’s office in downtown Oregon City in late April.  A dozen more volunteers took part in a door-to-door canvass throughout the town to let neighbors know about the Congressman’s support for job-killing trade agreements.
Congressman Schrader provoked the ire of constituents by publicly calling on President Obama to “push forward” with new NAFTA-style trade agreements that were negotiated by the Bush administration; by talking about the Korea Free Trade Agreement as if it were a job creation program; and by refusing to support comprehensive trade reform legislation called the TRADE Act that is endorsed by labor, environmental, family farm and consumer organizations across the country, as well as the strong majority of House Democrats.
TAKE ACTION:  If you live in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District, please write to Congressman Schrader today via our online webform urging him to oppose new Free Trade Agreements and support the TRADE Act. 
And if you represent If you represent a labor union, environmental group or other progressive organization, please add your group to our organizational sign-on letter in support of the TRADE Act addressed to Congressman Schrader and other members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation.  For details, email
4.) CAFTA’s Golden Swindle
When the government of El Salvador rejected Pacific Rim Mining’s request for permits to open the El Dorodo gold mine on environmental and public health grounds, the Canadian company used its U.S. subsidiary to retaliate with a multi-million dollar suit for “lost profits” under the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).  On May 31, the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes will hold a hearing deciding whether to let Pacific Rim’s case against the people of El Salvador to move forward.
EVENT: Stand up for democracy at a creative action by the Portland Central America Solidairty Committee outside the offices of Senate Trade Subcommittee Chairman Ron Wyden on Thursday, May 27th at 12:00 noon at 11th & Holladay near the Lloyd Center Max Stop in Portland.  For additional details, call PCASC at (503) 515-5456.
5.) Save the Date: Food Security, Forced Migration and “Free Trade”
Please join ORFTC and the Lane County Fair Trade Campaign for a community forum about the local impacts of Free Trade Agreements – and what we can do about them – on Wednesday, June 9th at 7:00 pm at Harris Hall (8th & Oak) in Eugene.  Speakers include Dan Armstrong of the Willamette Bean & Grain Project, Guadelupe Quinn of the Amigos Multicultural Services Center and Arthur Stamoulis of the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign.  For details, email 

Donate Online!

In the News:Portland’s Middle Isn’t Holding

Statement on the “Merkley Amendment”

Obama Committed to Passing Free Trade Deals

Join ORFTC on Facebook!

To sign-up for ORFTC’s monthly update, please email with “Subscribe Newsletter” in the subject line.
This is produced by:
    Oregon Fair Trade Campaign
    310 SW 4th Ave #436
    Portland, OR 97204


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